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DIY Series: Kitchen Reveal

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DIY Series: Kitchen Reveal

Hiiii friends!! I am so excited to share the reveal of our kitchen renovation. This has been a labor of love. We hired a contractor to oversee and do the majority of the work and we finished off the kitchen ourselves with painting and some finishing details. I will post a few more detailed posts in the coming weeks about specifics, favorite features, and recommendations we have for the whole process. But for now we are just thankful the kitchen is complete and functional again! Also the sunlight in Denver is something else. It comes in from every angle in our house!

Before & After:

Photo May 22, 6 34 24 PM.jpg
Photo Oct 23, 1 58 29 PM (1).jpg

Leave any questions you have below and I would be happy to help answer any of them! 

Chelsea
 

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Recharging in the mountains

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Recharging in the mountains

The past few weeks have been really, really good, filled with GC parties and celebrations, working a lot, starting Surge - a year long discipleship program with a lot of reading each week and regular table discussions, and just regular every day life! We are so excited about this season of life and all that is going on but it can also deplete our spiritual, emotional, & physical bank account leaving us grumpy, impatient, & overwhelmed. That is why I could not be more grateful for a long weekend away at our family's cabin in the mountains where we can breathe some fresh mountain air, ride the new ATVs, hike with our puppy, spend some quality time together, and read! All things I love.  

I am always on the go. Going about 90 miles an hour. Doing 37 things at once. I thrive in this environment but even I need to recharge. I will admit that it is difficult for me to slow down and I resist it as much as possible, for reasons only the Lord knows. But in the midst of going and going and going, I forget to just enjoy each moment and the journey of getting to where I am going. I tend to rush on by with little thought as to where God might be in the midst of the mundane and what He wants to teach me. With all that being said - I tried to put aside my agenda for the weekend and just be recharged, refreshed, and revitalized through conversations, reading, exploring the trails on the ATVs, hiking, and looking out on God's immense, vast, and gorgeous creation.

God is everywhere, in the clouds, in the Mountainous horizon, in laughter, in cooking breakfast, in basking in the sunshine. He is everywhere. Through Surge the last two weeks, we have really focused on God's creation by reading the entire book of Genesis in two weeks and reading the "The Drama of Scripture". Creation is a concept that many of us Christians tend to glaze on through just accepting and knowing that God spoke our universe, world, and people into existence. Yes he SPOKE us into existence. I mean have you ever pondered that? God spoke and it was. How amazing is that? Also, what God teaches us about his creation is that it was designed and put into perfect shalom in the Garden of Eden, and it was all GOOD. Shalom is my new favorite word and concept right now.

Shalom is "the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight" - Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. in his article titled "Sin: Not the Way It's Supposed to Be". Cornelius also goes on to say that, "In the Bible shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight - a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as the creator and savior opens doors and speaks welcome to the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things are supposed to be." (To read the full article, click here.) How dreamy is that? How amazing is that? I want to be in a state of natural flourishing and fulfillment where everyone's gifts are fruitful and there is joyful wonder. I want that! I mean who doesn't? Although we live in a fallen and broken world, we still have hope and delight in knowing what God has created with us in mind, what he has created that is good and nourishing. We may not see the fruition of revelation on this side of heaven but we can rest assured that we will experience this with Him in his holy kingdom.

View from Windy Ridge of the Lower Mount Bross Trail

View from Windy Ridge of the Lower Mount Bross Trail

View at dusk from our cabin porch

View at dusk from our cabin porch

 
Our little slice of mountain heaven

Our little slice of mountain heaven

 
 
Our cozy nook of the loft

Our cozy nook of the loft

 
 
Working on perfecting my fried eggs...also its never too early for a Christmas glass

Working on perfecting my fried eggs...also its never too early for a Christmas glass

 
 
Furry hats are a must in the mountains

Furry hats are a must in the mountains

 

Loading up the ATVs

We successfully hitched up the ATV trailer

We successfully hitched up the ATV trailer

Trigger jumped on thinking he was going to get to go with us

Trigger jumped on thinking he was going to get to go with us

Triggy wanted to go for a ride

Triggy wanted to go for a ride

We did it!

We did it!

 
View of Montgomery Reservoir

View of Montgomery Reservoir

 
Handsome hubby

Handsome hubby

Magnolia Mill

Magnolia Mill

 
We attempted a level "red" trail called Wheeler Lake - we did not make it up! Thought "safety first!"

We attempted a level "red" trail called Wheeler Lake - we did not make it up! Thought "safety first!"

 

Campfire & Cuddles

I wish I could remember what story Ben was telling us but it looks like it was really interesting!

I wish I could remember what story Ben was telling us but it looks like it was really interesting!

I love spending time by the fire with great friends!

I love spending time by the fire with great friends!

Hiking McCullough Gulch

I know that for some people, this seems like a jam packed weekend and where did we find the time to rest and recharge? Well what you didn't see was a lot of vegging in our reclining chairs, reading for hours, watching the sun come up over the mountains, watching a little HGTV House Hunters Renovation, and all the good food we ate! This to me is what I enjoy and I feel more at ease & refreshed than before we left. We had two families come up and meet us at the cabin for a little R&R. This was a breath of fresh air and I loved spending time with the kiddos. They are so precious and I love listening to their stories. What do you do to relax, unwind, and recharge? I love to hear new ideas. 

Shalom -

Chelsea
 

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Home Decor: Curtains

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Home Decor: Curtains

We had some just awful & gross blinds on our gorgeous original windows in our living, dining, & master bedroom. They were just covered in filth & dust and no amount of cleaning was bringing them back to my sanitation standards. They also were bulky and stuck out several inches from the actual window casing. This hid the original detail and took away from the charm of the craftsman woodwork. We recently went to a friends new home and I just loved her new floor to ceiling curtains. She said she got them from West Elm and I was immediately stuck on the idea of getting new curtains. I checked out the website and they were offering 20% off all curtains and so I scrounged up the last of my Pottery Barn gift cards from the wedding (Pottery Barn owns West Elm so you can use them there too!), convinced my husband they were a "must have", and made the big purchase! I had no idea, until recently, that curtains cost so much money. I was literally in shock. I thought it was worth the splurge for really good quality window treatments. I went outside my usual grey + white color scheme and went with yellow. Yes, yellow! They totally warm up and brighten up the space and contrast against our dark woodwork on the windows, baseboards, and fireplace.

You can find the curtains here. I got the 108" length. These were 20% off when I ordered them, unfortunately it looks like they are no longer on sale.

I was really eyeing a curtain rod from West Elm too but got a reality check from my hubby and found a very nice substitute on the Bed Bath & Beyond website. It is a similar style as the original one that I liked but 1/3 of the price. Add a 20% off coupon and who could resist that! I ordered these with some wedding gift cards as well. To sum it up, I only spent $30 out of pocket for this whole project!

You can find the rod here. I got the 36-66 in adjustable rod in brushed brass.

When the curtains arrived this week I was so excited, I just couldn't wait to get them up. I began the process of ironing each of the 4 panels. Two panels for each window. (Curtain tip: each panel is sold separately... yeahhh that makes the cost go up pretty quick!) My theory is it is better to put in the extra effort to iron the curtains now rather than try to steam them later when they are already hanging up. Even though this took me several hours - I am so happy I took the time to do this. They really look high end and fresh without big creases in them.

 
 

My husband and I removed all of the old hardware associated with many sets of blinds (most that were not still in existence) and the actual blinds themselves. We cleaned the windows and woodwork. Next we began the process of deciding where we wanting the curtains and how they should hang. We measured, leveled, and marked the spot then measured, leveled, and marked again. We tend to be thorough especially when drilling holes into our plaster walls. We then used a drill bit to drill holes in the wall for the anchors. Next we screwed in the actual hook hanging mechanism. I cleaned up the debris on the floor and window sill because I didn't want any dust or wall debris to get on our new curtains! I recommend this step after drilling into the wall on both sides. Finally we strung our curtains on the rods and slid them into the hooks. We measured how much of the rod would be hanging on the outside of the hook on each side to make sure it was symmetrical then locked it in place with the screw that came with the hardware.

Sounds pretty simple, huh? Our biggest challenge is always just getting started and determining the order of steps. For this project specifically it was deciding which drill bit size to use and getting enough leverage that high up to actually drill a hole into our paint over several layers of wallpaper over plaster over who knows what walls. 

Our house has some amazing natural light, however, it can almost be blinding at times. See why we needed some curtains?

Living Room

Before

Before

After

After

Dining Room

Before

Before

After

After

 
 

Home sweet home.

Chelsea
 

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GC Mountain Retreat Weekend

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GC Mountain Retreat Weekend

We recently hosted our gospel community {{also referred to as GC}} at our family's cabin in Fairplay for our seasonal mountain retreat. This weekend is designed to be a time of fellowship, game playing {I mean A LOT of game playing}, laughing, resting, & relaxation, as well as, exploration & adventure! I am so grateful to be in this community of believers that surrounds me with love, acceptance, joy, authenticity, & just all around fun & fellowship! I used to pray, and I must admit even just beg, for God to introduce me to friends that liked to play board games & card games, loved to do new things together, & enjoyed talking & laughing into the wee hours of the morning. God not only answered those prayers but he far exceeded fulfilling that desire. This may sound silly but I am not kidding when I say I like to play games.... I mean a lot of games for hours & hours. I have truly met my match at least 4 times over in our GC on those who love to play games! Anyways back to the GC Mountain Retreat Weekend --

Friday:

As everyone arrived, we unpacked cars and giddily talked about what lay ahead for the weekend!

We ate Christi's delicious chicken & sausage jambalaya (See the recipe here.) & talked about our activities for the next day! There were going to be three different groups doing fun things on Saturday which consisted of:  The Hikers, The Fishermen, & The Town Explorers.

We played Uno for hours {it only took us 20 minutes to explain all the rules since it had been a decade or more since some people had played.. aka Justin.} as well as B.S, also known as Boyscouts per Jack. hehe. I didn't want to stop playing games but since The Hikers were going to be leaving the house at 4:40 AM to hike Mount Quandary, we decided it was time to begin preparation for the morning & get ready for bed. 

We made assembly lines and took sandwich orders from the whole crew, made our bladders of water, and packed all of our lunches & packs. Finally we all got to bed a little after midnight! I felt like it was Christmas Eve I was so excited. I woke up at 2 AM convinced it was time for me to turn on the coffee and get ready. Thankfully I checked the time before I was too far in this plan.

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Friday Dinner
Ben + Jack + Trig

Saturday:

To get a full account of The Hikers journey to hiking a 14-er check out the post here.

After our hike which totaled about 8 hours with stops, snacking, potty breaks, etc. - we headed back to the cabin. On the way back, I texted the Town Explorer crew and they were at High Paw Pet Supplies meeting Andre! I convinced The Hikers to go meet up with them. {This consisted of me begging to go and no one having the guts to oppose.... I have such sweet friends! haha} Andre is a large cat that was rescued by this pet store and has since gained QUITE the Instagram following. Check out @andre.giantcat to learn more about Andre. We all just had to go get a picture with him! See these priceless photos below.

Chelsea + Andre
Jack + Andre
Anna + Andre

When we arrived back at the cabin, some of the crew napped {in hindsight - I should have joined them but anyone who knows me, knows I am not a napper and I do NOT like naps haha. I am personally just such a grumpo when I wake up, I feel worse or groggy the rest of the day, & I just don't like to waste daylight or miss out on the fun times!} and some of the crew talked and became delirious, I must add.

 
Ben + Trig
 
 
Jack + Trig
 

Shortly after a quick mountain rain storm, The Fishermen crew arrived back at the cabin to tell us about their adventures! They caught 25+ fish, hiked part of a 14-er, saw a buffalo or was it a bison? anyhow they thoroughly enjoyed themselves! It was so cool to see our seasoned veteran fly fisher teach a new fly fisherman what he knew and see them bond over their common interest in fishing!

 
Fish
 

Saturday evening consisted of cooking over 6 lbs of fried chicken, frying up the 7 trout the boys brought home, making homemade cauliflower mac & cheese {I will share this recipe soon!}, & hearty salad! I love cooking meals together at the cabin. There is something so sweet about the whole process. Some people gravitate towards cooking {me, Jack, Cole}, while Christi & John are great choppers & preppers, and some of the boys are our clean up crew {Edward, Ben, & Justin}, and everyone else who helps set the table & take drink orders. It is just one of the most fulfilling earthly experiences topped off with eating family style. Our presentation isn't fancy & it isn't perfect but it sure is made with love & absolutely delicious.

 
Saturday Dinner
 

Sunday:

After we had breakfast, we spent some time in God's word as a group and just reflected on on the weekend in the basement. During this time, Cole spotted a moose walking across our property! It was majestic. We immediately all started running up the stairs trying to snap a photo and get a better view. Here is the only good image I have of this moose. You can see that his hind legs are TALLER than our friend's Jeep Cherokee! It was amazing but don't be fooled. Moose are very aggressive and dangerous so do not approach one in the wilderness!

 
Moose
 

When I come back from a weekend like this I come back rejuvenated, filled with encouragement & joy, and thankful for the body of Christ in community. Community has changed my life over and over. If you are not in community - my prayer is that you would seek out Godly community that will continue to challenge you to live as Christ calls you to. Community isn't perfect but it is essential to our sanity & growth. Isolation can overwhelm you and suck you in before you realize what is happening. If you have questions or would like to know more about biblical community - feel free to message me in the Contact section or leave a comment below!

Full heart -

Chelsea
 

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Home Decor: Cozy Living Room Essentials

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Home Decor: Cozy Living Room Essentials

I love all things cozy! I have spent the last few weeks changing out decor to create a comfortable living room for us! Below are few of those cozy essentials!

{Plush Throws}

Ladder + Throws

I absolutely love throws and cuddling up on the couch. I am naturally cold natured so I really love throws. White throws just brighten up the room and invite you into cozy.  I gravitate towards throws with texture that look pretty, as well as, keep you warm. Pottery Barn is my go to for the best throws around. Below are links to 3 that we got for our wedding and are easily my favorite throws of all time. {Pictured to the right}

White Faux Sheepskin, Faux Fur Throw, Chennile Basketweave Throw

{Decorative Wood Ladder}

I was on the hunt for a creative way to store all my throws. Baskets tend to take up valuable square footage and clutter up the room. I ended up finding my decorative wood ladder at my favorite antique mall in Denver for $25! It is in great shape and has an American Indian flare to it, which I love. This provides a vertical design element in our living room & displays our cute throws.

{Wood & Metal Coffee Table}

My vision of a cozy living room includes a metal + wood coffee table! I must I totally stole this one from Brit! She has wonderful style and I am constantly asking her where she got everything inside of her home! I usually am met with "World Market" or "Restoration Hardware Outlet"! Wish I had her vision. Anyways - this one is from World Market. Link is below, although I think it is out of stock now. 

Aiden Coffee Table

{Galvanized Tray}

Tray + Chicken Feeder + Book

To go with the mix of wood & metal in our living room I added this galvanized tray from William Sonoma. I love coffee table decor and am constantly reminding myself not to clutter it up!

Galvanized Round Tray

{Farmhouse Element}

I love Fixer Upper, as I am sure you all do! Joanna Gaines has a natural touch for all things farmhouse, rustic, & industrial that illuminate cozy. My farmhouse element in this room is this chicken feeder I also picked up at my favorite antique mall in Denver! I love it - I have no idea what I am really going to do with it but for right now I love it right where it is!

{Coffee Table Book}

Maybe I am too southern but I think coffee table books are essential to a homey living room. I have three coffee table books that I rotate in and out. Two were bought for me by my husband and include pictures of puppies. I love puppies. period. Shake & Underwater Dogs. They make you giggle and saw awww! The third book is one from my best friend, Kaci. She got me this book after I oohed and awwed all over it when we were shopping in the Stockyards in Fort Worth. It is called Goodnight Cowtown and its one of my favorites. It is a sweet reminder of my time in Cowtown! Coffee table books provide your guest something to look at while you are still throwing the last minute clutter in the closet or pulling something off the stove!

What are your cozy essentials?

Livin' & Lovin' -

Chelsea
 

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